Golden opportunity for UWinnipeg students to change the world

Golden Future volunteers distribute supplies to Khayelitsha students

Golden Future volunteers distribute supplies to Khayelitsha students

Golden Future South Africa mentorship program seeks donations, volunteers

On May 1, a group of University of Winnipeg students will travel to South Africa for an experience that aims to change the lives of high-school students living in one of the country’s most vulnerable communities, Khayelitsha, a highly impoverished township in Cape Town. The volunteers will join peers from three other Canadian universities for this eye-opening experience, and they are looking for other students to join them.

“For students here, the opportunity is valuable,” says Jason Yang, an executive with UWinnipeg’s Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society, who is organizing this school’s involvement with the initiative. “To get involved in such a big project, on the other side of the world, for a student who has lived here their entire life – it will definitely change their perspective; show them what the world is like outside of Canada.” Yang is confident they will be able to make a difference.

“I’ve spoken with a U of W student from South Africa who told me they can use support from the other side of the world,” he says. “And we’re in a position to offer support.”

Golden Future South Africa has two components: mentoring youth on issues that will help ensure success in the future, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, life skills, career-planning and post-secondary education; and working with small business owners to help them become self-sustainable, and knowledgeable of government initiatives and business laws. The University of Winnipeg team is training to educate high school students about sexual health. In Khayelitsha, a population sample indicates an HIV infection rate of 31%.

Although it is an initiative of the Golden Key International Honour Society, this experience is open to all UWinnipeg students, and students working toward careers in related disciplines, such as health or education, have much to gain. UWinnipeg Education students Tessa Wileman and Patricia Joven have volunteered to join Yang in South Africa.

As Yang explains, this project builds on the volunteer work Golden Key members have been performing in Winnipeg.

“We’ve committed to improving our local community, but we also belong to a global community,” he says. “And having The University of Winnipeg banner up in a high school in South Africa shows how much we care about the entire world.”

If you would like to support the UWinnipeg team in its mission to promote sustainable change in Khayelitsh, visit The University of Winnipeg Foundation website.

The Golden Key International Honour Society is also donating 10 % of the proceeds from The Gaming Gala, a social and games night fundraiser, to Golden Futures. The Gaming Gala takes place at 7:00 p.m. tonight, March 12, at Garbonzos. Tickets are $10.00, and are available at uwinnipeggk@gmail.com.

If you would like to volunteer to take part in this project, please contact Jason Yang through the UWinnipeg Golden Key chapter at uwinnipeggk@gmail.com.

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